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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 29, 2010 6:22am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

I know, it's become predictable. But at least I'm consistent!

Happy 10/29 everybody :-)

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-29.sbd.miller.92085.sbeok.flac16

One fan's opinion: Best Show Ever
Yep. Uh-huh. This is it.

Charlie Miller comes through again with a very essential upgrade to what this head feels is the Greatest Dead Show Ever Played. I expect no one to actually share that opinion, but I will lay out the case nevertheless.

First, it's 1977, and the band is charging towards the end of their greatest year like a dam burst forth. May '77 has the best collective run of shows to be sure, with nary a clunker anywhere, but if you want that extra charge, that hard-driving rock & roll edge to go along with the perfect flow and practically ESP-like melding of minds that marked the May run, you need to dip your toes into the fall tour.

And this show is the one that rules above all.

We begin with Jerry charging out of the gate with a vocal rendering of MIGHT AS WELL that says "Hey, I'm here for some serious fun. You'd better be too." Flawless rendition (as is virtually every song on this night), and the rest of the gang joins in on the flurry of chorus repeats at the end.

A scintillating JACK STRAW follows. Note if you will Bobby's own vocal commitment (perhaps not to be outdone by Jerry on the opener) when he holds the note on "...not with aaaaaaaaalllllll." This is followed by simply the best bridge into "Jack Straw from Witchita" these ears have ever heard. Yes, there are longer jams, but I would argue none better in this version in terms of intensity, build up, and picture-perfect touch-down into that final verse. Not a note wasted and each one infused with runaway energy.

DIRE WOLF fans...standard greatness here.

LLR...My one complaint with this show, but only because I hate this song. Fans of it tell me this version is terrific, so if you fall in that category, you're all set.

LOSER, EL PASO, RAMBLE, MINGLEWOOD, ROSES...all flawlessly rendered, great gritty guitar from Jerry...it's standardly wonderful '77 fare.

LET IT GROW. Hang on, this is where things start to get hairy. Garcia rips it up, throwing in liberal hints of "Spanish Jam" and other fuzz-guitar madness...it all holds together under Bob's impassioned vocals and Donna does not get in the way. If not for 5/1/81 I'd call this the all-time best version. It certainly ranks in the Top 5.

BERTHA. Oh, this Bertha. I hardly know where to start, but at the beginning: Listen to how Phil drops his bass notes one after the other in the opening notes, and how when he gets to the end it all rolls into one as the rest of the band jumps in at exactly the right moment to bring the chords into focus. The Garcia jams during the bridge reach new heights every time I listen...I simply cannot fathom how he was able to rip such ever-climbing notes into a coherent symphony of sound. It then passes seamlessly into an extraordinary GOOD LOVIN', also featuring rolling Phil bass lines and more monster jams by Jerry.

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. Just exactly perfect and Phil booms his bass at all the peak moments.

ESTIMATED is a Jerry Wah-Wah fest of the highest order...there are spacey elements to the post-lyrics jam that will mesmerize the mind, bringing us to a phenomenal, epic, jaw-dropping EYES OF THE WORLD. In the intro before a word is sung, we have Jerry channeling his inner Wes Montgomery. This is jazz guitar meshing perfectly in this Rock & Roll band. Note the ease and flow which marks this intro...nothing rushed; a beautiful up and down and all around journey that sets the tone, with almost no hint of the fury to come...It's lovingly sung...no flubs...and then we get the first jam break as Garcia teases with a crescendo that finishes perhaps a tad earlier then we expect...but it's a set-up for the next instrumental break, which busts open the gut of rock, jazz, psychedelia and more...Garcia rises, falls, rises again, and crashes it all down with band in tow into a frenzy of musical ecstasy that defines what the Grateful Dead were and what they meant to their fans. And then he steps up and sings "Sometimes we live no particular way but our own", and we know exactly what he means.

Had enough? Please. A short SPACE,and it's time for a ST STEPHEN of raw blues power. Blues? Really? Hear for yourself. Listen to the oprning and tell me Garcia hasn't turned this late 60's acid tune into a gritty blues number. And it just takes off from there. Hard crashing drumming (it's at this point in the show that Mickey and Billy REALLY start to assert themselves), and again, flawless stuff charging headlong into a brief drumming stint and then a NOT FADE AWAY that rocks the house hard.

No wonder they had to bring it down a notch for a melancholy BLACK PETER. Except, ummm....no. This PETER is focused and intense and by the time Jerry implores all to "Come run and seeeee..." we're all wailing at the wall of a tortured soul.

But Bobby refuses to end the night on a down note, and Mickey and Billy have their own plans for a scorching SUGAR MAG. (Caveat: Most SBD versions feature an edited version--expertly done, but an edit still...we jump right from verse one to "Sometimes when the cuckoo's cryin'") but that should not deter you.
*** And, as it turns out, this excellent Miller upgrade includes a patch so you get the FULL Magnolia. Accept nothing less.***

This just jams and wails and rocks and if that wasn't enough the rhythm devils go ballistic on an impromptu drum roll at the end--neither one wanting to be the last to beat the skins...by the time SSDD begins, you can actually hear Weir laughing at what they've done. They've given it their all, and the SSDD keeps a movin'.

A lot of SBDs don't contain the SAT. NIGHT encore. (This one does). But I could care less. If you're not breathless by the end of this masterpiece you're hard to impress.

This incredible show should be enshrined in history. It is my favorite Dead show of all time, and even if you do not agree, I am willing to bet dollars to Dead Donuts it will fall somewhere in your Top 10.

Enjoy.

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Poster: stratocaster Date: Oct 29, 2010 2:49pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

through the years this show has crept up the ranks for me...it's hard for me to say it's definitively better than 09-03-1977, 05-08-1977 or even 10-02-1977, but it's absolutely top shelf '77 material...easily one of the top ten 1976-1979 Keith and Donna shows...great first set, in second set the Estimated and Eyes suite is huge...nice space jam post Eyes...Black Peter is an all timer...certainly some of the tightest playing you'll hear from that period...

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

It is the type of passion and excitement in your show review that has made me try '77 again and again . Lots of heads fav year . I had this tape along with the standard BB 1980's collection of '77 in the cassette days . So I have listened to this more than a few times . Just not in a few decades . Based on your well done review I gave a listen to LIG , Estimated and Black Peter . I still can not find the mojo , but I love your devotion and conviction . Thank God we have 30 years to choose from cause we definitely come in all types .
Viva '68 ;-)

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Oct 29, 2010 6:37am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

"It is my favorite Dead show of all time, and even if you do not agree, I am willing to bet dollars to Dead Donuts it will fall somewhere in your Top 10."

Certainly in the top-ten for 1977. I personally dont feel the Fall '77 performances are anywhere near as good as those from May, but this one is the exception!

As far as it being in the top ten shows of all-time? I don't think it's even in the top fifty ;)

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 29, 2010 7:04am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

That's because you're a blatant anti-'77-ite! For shame! ;-)

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Poster: snow_and_rain Date: Oct 29, 2010 8:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

I agree. Spring '77 beats fall '77 every time.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 9:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

I kind of like the rougher edge to fall '77, though. It's kind of a sleepy year to me in general, controlled & measured...and those silky smooth May '77 shows sometimes just glide by.
Estimated Prophet was way better by Nov '77, anyway. And some of those Half-Steps are way up there. (And there were no Let It Grows in May '77, either...)

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:04pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

You say "rougher edge" and it makes me think of '78. Was it a conscious decision to make it sound that way?

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

It's on the way to '78's rough edge, for sure.
I don't know whether these musical changes were a conscious decision. Some like to say it was all driven by the choice of drugs. The band themselves preferred to say they made no decisions, but just let the music carry them. I'd imagine it was a confluence of moods & band politics, plus whatever rehearsals there were.

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Poster: madmonkmcphee Date: Oct 29, 2010 10:42pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

Lately I've been listening to a lot of '78 shows and the fall of '77 sounds like a glimpse of things to come, loving it. 11/6/77 is really fun

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Poster: Reade Date: Oct 29, 2010 4:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

I too confine my enthusiasm for '77 to May, and May only.
After no shows for virtually all of June, July and August, something got lost that was essential to whatever that mojo was that they had going on in May.

Interestingly, some of my favorite JGB stuff happens here.
8-7-77 JGB is magnifico.

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Poster: billydlions Date: Oct 29, 2010 8:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

"if you want that extra charge, that hard-driving rock & roll edge to go along with the perfect flow and practically ESP-like melding of minds that marked the May run, you need to dip your toes into the fall tour."

I 100% agree with that statement! I'm not sure what it is; drugs, wolf, the return after the layoff due to Mickey's accident, but who cares! I'll nominate 10-9-77 as a sleeper show that doesn't get mentioned (and a nice CM upgrade a few weeks ago) as another must have from the fall tour. Of course 10-29-77 is one of my favorites as well and worthy of a yearly reminder.

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1977-10-09.sbd.miller.109972.flac16

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 30, 2010 10:48am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

"the return after the layoff due to Mickey's accident ..."

Help refresh my memory here, what 'accident'?

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Poster: billydlions Date: Oct 30, 2010 4:47pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

Micky was in a car accident that summer (no shows between 6-9 and 9-3).

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Poster: duckpond74 Date: Oct 30, 2010 5:03pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

Thanks for the reminder, BD. I vaguely remember that, now that you mention it.

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Poster: grendelschoice Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:18am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

Billy--Thanx for the tip on the CM upgrade of 10/9/77...absolute sleeper show for sure--a gem!

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Poster: wineland Date: Oct 29, 2010 8:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

Just like Bill Murray in a 10/29 Groundhog Day. Always a welcome sight to see the yearly DeKalb post.

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Poster: clementinescaboose Date: Oct 29, 2010 11:28pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH: GC's Annual Case for Best Show EVER

i think the best part of this show is that it took place at my Alma Mater ;^)

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